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Seven Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Dec. 22, 2020)

The Washington Post looks at what’s included in the $900 billion stimulus package. Many employers plan to encourage rather than require their workers to be vaccinated, reports the Wall Street Journal. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Here’s What in the New $900 Billion Stimulus Package “Congressional leaders brokered a deal on an approximately $900 billion relief bill Sunday night, with promises to pass the legislation as soon as possible. The bill would extend aid to millions of struggling households through stimulus checks, enhanced federal unemployment benefits and money for small businesses, schools and child care, as well as for vaccine distribution. It also repurposes $429 billion in unused funds provided by the Cares Act for emergency lending programs run by the Federal Reserve.” (Washington Post)
  2. The U.S. Is on the Verge of the Biggest Anti-Money Laundering Update in Years “If you’re a corrupt foreign official or drug trafficker, there’s a pretty easy way to protect your illicit cash: create an anonymous shell company. You form a shell company — meaning a business that exists only on paper, with no employees, no products it makes or sells, no revenue, nothing except maybe a bank account and some assets — but you do it without disclosing your (the owner’s) real name, offering a convenient way to launder your money and evade law enforcement in the United States.” (Vox)
  3. Billionaire Investor Sam Zell Questions Tesla and Bitcoin, Predicts Workers Will Return to Offices, and Warns the U.S. Dollar Could Be Replaced as the World’s Reserve Currency In a New Interview “’If you move to Nowhere, Iowa, it's five o'clock there every day. And what do you do at five o'clock? Go across the street to the pig farm? We are social animals.’ - arguing that a mass exodus from cities isn't realistic.” (Business Insider)
  4. Why Many Workers Won’t Require Employees to Get the COVID-19 Shot “Human-resources leaders and chief executives say they aren’t mandating vaccinations because they want to respect the views of those who lack confidence in the new vaccines, avoid liability if there are adverse reactions and not infringe on religious or personal beliefs. The approach is similar to how large companies often handle seasonal flu shots.” (Wall Street Journal)
  5. Palisades Center Worth Half What It Was in 2016: Appraisers “One of the nation’s largest malls has had its value chopped in half. Appraisers pegged the Palisades Center Mall’s value at $425 million, according to data firm Trepp. That’s less than half of the $881 million that the mall was valued at in 2016, when owner Pyramid Companies received a $388.5 million mortgage on the 1.8 million-square-foot property.” (The Real Deal)
  6. Ad Giant WPP to Cut New York Real Estate Footprint by 700K SF “As the pandemic rages on and timelines for when workers can return to offices continue to be pushed back, more firms are looking to cut their office real estate holdings. One example: WPP, the British advertising giant that’s the parent company of Ogilvy and GroupM, will reduce its New York City office space by 700,000 square feet, about a third of its footprint, Business Insider reported.” (The Real Deal)
  7. With Record-Breaking Class Size, ULI/REAP 2020 Fall Academy Building Real Life Connections in Commercial Real Estate “In mid-December, Project REAP and ULI held a ceremony celebrating the 190 graduates who completed the ULI/REAP Online Academy in 2020. But this year’s graduating class is unique—not only by being the largest single cohort in the program’s 22-year history, but also by being conducted virtually from start to finish, which allowed for a broader geographic pool of participants.” (Urban Land Magazine)
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